Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year and 2017 Goals by Christa Tomlinson




 Ah, 2016. It was a year that existed. I had a lot of plans for 2016. Unfortunately, they didn’t all pan out.  Probably because I didn’t actually sit down and plan out my plans. Or even write them down so I’d remember what they were. Funny how that works.

But I did manage to accomplish a few things. I published The Detective’s Pleasure, Officer Ryan Bennett and Detective Sam Roberts’s story. I published Showing Him the Ropes, a romance set in the world of professional wrestling, and something I’d been wanting to write for two years. And I sold my house, so I could move into an easier to manage apartment. Yay! All good things!

For 2017 I’m already one step ahead. I actually wrote down my professional goals. Progress!

Publish Five Works
Now is the time for me to be more focused in my writing. I realize that only publishing one or two books a year won’t get me over that hump from part-time/hobbyist writer to full-time career writer. Which means I’ll be buckling down and dedicating my time and effort to producing more stories that I, and hopefully others, will love.

Attend at least one genre conference
I went to Rainbow Con in 2015. And like a typical introvert I was tense and stressed. I liked the panels and learning, but having to talk to people I don’t know and be around so many people at the same time was exhausting. When I got home, I swore I’d never go to another. But I didn’t really mean it. I want to know my fellow m/m romance people and I love talking books. So I’m determined to try again.

Attend at least three meetings for the West Houston RWA
Again, I’m forcing myself out of my comfort zone. I want to learn more about the business of romance writing and connect with others in the industry. Getting out from behind my computer and into public spaces with other writers is the way to make that happen. I was a little concerned about joining West Houston RWA because of my genre. But when I spoke with Membership Chair, Karen Pugh, she was very welcoming and assured me they embrace diversity. They even had Damon Suede there as a guest speaker. I’m so bummed I missed it. Here’s hoping he’ll be back in 2017.

Public Speaking
I don’t miss the politics or endless and often ridiculous demands of being a teacher. But I do miss teaching. It’s in my blood. I love learning and sharing my knowledge with others. It’s the best feeling when I help someone understand something they didn’t get before. With that in mind, I’d like to give a guest lecture or sit in on a panel. Rainbow Con has some cool ones, so I’m considering signing up for a few.

Post regularly on both my blog and Café Risque
I’m so thankful Cardeno C. invited me to participate in Café Risque. It gave me the motivation I needed to start blogging on a regular basis. I’m enjoying it and I’ve started posting on my own blog on a regular basis as well. I definitely plan to continue posting on both throughout the year. If there’s anything you want to see me blog about, let me know!

Get back into writing fanfiction
I miss it! I had a lot of fun writing fanfiction. And it’ll be a chance for me to write without the pressure of publication. It will also help me explore some things I want to try before I take them to market. *cough* Historical Fantasy! *cough* So I’ll be seeing you soon, FFDN!

Read 50 books.
Okay, don’t laugh. I know fifty books isn’t a lot. Especially compared to how many I used to read before I started publishing. But lately, I haven’t had the time to read that much. Or I should say, I haven’t made time to read like I used to. This year, I’m determined to make more time to read and relax.

That’s it! I think it’s a pretty manageable set of goals. Now I just have to stay patient and realize I can’t accomplish them all by January 15th. I’m looking forward to working hard to reach these goals in 2017. And you’d better believe I’m giving myself a cookie every time I accomplish one. I’d love to see your goals for the year. Feel free to share in the comments!

Happy New Year and I wish you all the best for health, wealth, and happiness in 2017.

Thanks for reading!
Christa
www.ChristaTomlinson.com
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